Shortages and price increases create uncertainty on the thermal paper market in Europe

14 Feb 2018 − 

While pulp was the driving force behind the cost increases for thermal paper producers in 2017, the shortage of the functional dye ODB-2 has now become an additional factor. This key component of thermal paper production is reportedly scarce and expensive.

The scarcity of the colour former ODB-2 is causing numerous - sometimes massive - price hikes for thermal paper. The POS segment appears to be particularly affected. Buyers may have had a bit of negotiating leeway in the 2017 price rounds but since the start of the year sellers have been rigorously implementing their announcements. The mark-ups were fully implemented throughout the market for deliveries as of January 2018 in most cases, and now sellers are reportedly planning another price hike of as much as 20% for March or April.

European thermal paper manufacturers say they have been able to maintain production in most cases by using up inventories and buying the expensive colour former on the global market. Nevertheless, there are reports that the output of POS grades is at least slowing down. As a result, buyers complain about poor availability and occasional cancellations of deliveries of thermal paper.

So far there have been fewer production cutbacks for higher grades of thermal paper, but this segment has not been immune to the rising price trend, either. A price hike of as much as 5% was implemented in 2017 and the upward trend is intensifying in the new year.

EUWID Pulp and Paper keeps busy professionals up-to-date on the latest news and price trends in major European pulp and paper markets.

This article is an excerpt from an extended coverage on the European thermal paper market. The entire article will be published in EUWID Pulp and Paper issue 7.2018.

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